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Ascendance avion ATEA

Development of a hybrid propulsion computer

Ascendance Flight Technologies expressed the need for support in developing the core computer used to hybridise the propulsion.In addition to fulfilling its function, it must be certified by the competent authorities in order to ultimately obtain its certificate of airworthiness.

Development of a hybrid propulsion computer

The customer context

Ascendance Flight Technologies (AFT) is a startup created in 2018 which aims to make more responsible aviation a reality.Indeed, given its passion for technology and heightened sensitivity to the environmental cause, the start-up has set itself the goal of creating aircraft equipped with hybrid propulsion (combustion/electric) in order to reduce carbon emissions (thereby forming part of its decarbonisation aspirations).These planes will be able to take off using electric propulsion and then switch to thermal energy once the target altitude is reached.Another important fact is that, in addition to being powered by a hybrid system, this new aircraft will have the ability to take off vertically (Hybrid Vertical Take Off Landing).

As part of this innovative project, Ascendance Flight Technologies expressed the need for support in developing the core computer used to hybridise the propulsion. In addition to fulfilling its function, it must be certified by the competent authorities in order to ultimately obtain its certificate of airworthiness.

Driven by this high-potential project, the Apside Toulouse teams put forward a very detailed technical proposal and were selected by AFT, with the conviction that we are the right partner.

Development of a hybrid propulsion computer

Our team

In order to assist the Ascendance Flight Technologies teams, four Apsidians were initially assigned to the project.Of these 4 Apsidians, we include a project manager who is in charge of Apside’s activities at AFT as well as three engineers in critical embedded development.In particular, this team with experience in the development of aeronautics and avionics was appointed for its skills and experience in constrained development:indeed, they must comply with the DO178* standard to meet the criticality requirements of the development of the avionics computer in particular.* The DO178 standard establishes the safety conditions applicable to critical avionics software in commercial aviation and general aviation.There are several levels used to categorise the level of criticality (from A to E)

Ascendance avion hybride eVTOL ATEA

Development of a hybrid propulsion computer

Our support

The project to develop the propulsion hybridisation computer began in February 2023. Appointed as a genuine industrial partner, Apside worked to design a technical offer tailored to the specific requirements and constraints of the project. Given this context, Apside is assisting AFT in the design of this computer by going through the simulation, testing and validation phases.

To do this, the team is using an iterative process based on a Model Based Design approach on a Matlab/Simulink environment, which makes it possible to model and simulate an algorithm under the DO178 constraint.It is worth noting that the ability to certify a system using a Model Based Design approach will also be an innovation.

Various stages have already been addressed since February by the Apside teams, including the phase of understanding the environment and the integration phase. The development organisation centres on certain requirements (like any avionics system) and it is precisely the formulation of these requirements that our teams are currently working on.

The heart of the project and our collaboration with AFT relies on system engineering that involves providing the full traceability of the computer’s requirements during the development phase. To do this, our teams rely principally on the MathWorks environment and the associated systems in order to respond to these challenges.

Ordinateur portable ouvert, écran coloré

Development of a hybrid propulsion computer

This project represents a true partnership between AFT and Apside. Indeed, while the client has so far been very happy with the collaboration formed with the Toulouse teams,  Apside is particularly proud to participate in this assignment which echoes with its own aspirations to innovate and decarbonise the aeronautics sector.

With this project, Apside is working together with AFT in order to innovate while meeting its commitments and upholding its convictions with an aircraft that is more respectful of the environment.


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